Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family and indulge in some of your favorite treats. But during this festive time of cheer and goodwill, you still need to take care of those teeth, or you could end up looking like the Grinch!
What Holidays and Candy Days Are Coming Up?
If you think we are just talking about Thanksgiving and Christmas, you’re wrong! There are tons of holidays throughout November and December that provide you with ample opportunities to enjoy some holiday sweets. Just some of the special National Days that revolve around candy are:
- November 4th - National Candy Day
- November 7th - National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
- November 10th - National Vanilla Cupcake Day
- November 11th - National Sundae Day
- November 17th - National Baklava Day
- November 26th - National Cake Day
- December 1st - National Pie Day
- December 4th - National Cookie Day
- December 7th - National Cotton Candy Day
- December 8th - National Brownie Day
- December 12th - Gingerbread House Day
- December 16th - National Chocolate-covered Anything Day
- December 19th - National Hard Candy Day
- December 25th - National Pumpkin Pie Day
- December 26th - National Candy Cane Day
- December 28th - National Chocolate Candy Day
And that isn’t even a complete list of the sweet days you can look forward to in the coming weeks! Check out the National Day Calendar website for more delicious days to celebrate with your favorite treat.
Protect Your Pearly Whites!
While it might be fun to sample the delicacies of the season, it’s important to remember that you will need to pay extra attention to your teeth. There are a few things you can do to care for your teeth during the sweetest season. Here are just a few ideas:
- Don’t Slack on Brushing - Harmful bacteria grows in your mouth, especially during the night. It might be tempting to crawl straight into your cozy bed after a boisterous holiday party, but you absolutely must brush your teeth before bed. Otherwise, all of those delicious party treats will start hurting your teeth, and could even lead to significant dental problems. The bacteria in your mouth love to feast on food residue so you need to remove their food source, “Brushing regularly will clear away food residue and starve the bacteria, keeping its growth in check. In the absence of brushing, the carbohydrates that linger the longest can cause the most damage.” Brushing your teeth only takes a few minutes, but it will do a lifetime of good! To help deal with any surface stains on your teeth, you can also incorporate some teeth whitening strips into your routine.
- Choose Your Treats Wisely - Some holiday goodies can contribute to stained teeth that will last a lot longer than the season does. According to WebMD, you need to avoid foods that are packed with any of these three components, “Chromogens -- compounds with strong pigments that cling to enamel, Tannins -- plant-based compounds that make it easier for stains to stick to teeth, Acids -- these make tooth enamel softer and rougher, so it's easier for stains to set in.” Things like coffee, dark teas, and berries that are all popular during the holiday season can create unsightly stains on your teeth. If you don’t want to watch what you eat, you may want to consider looking into some ways to whiten your teeth like toothpastes or kits, to use once the holiday season is over.
- Avoid Old Habits (or Break Current Ones) - Sometimes, people use the holidays as an excuse to fall back into old routines like smoking. Remember, these habits can lead to yellow or brown teeth and do a lot of damage as Colgate’s website explains, “…half of periodontal (gum) disease in smokers is caused by smoking? Chronic (long-term) gum disease can lead to the loss of your teeth.” Don’t use the season as an excuse to revert to unhealthy ways.
- Start a Healthy New Routine - A lot of people use the New Year to start living a healthier and happier life by making resolutions. Why not resolve to keep your teeth healthier this year? A great way to do that is to start including flossing in your oral hygiene routine. As per the UK’s NHS, “Dental floss helps to prevent gum disease by getting rid of pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth.” Flossing is a simple way to protect your teeth and gums from bacteria, decay, and disease. Also, just in case you need a goal date to start your new flossing routine, the day after Thanksgiving is designated as National Flossing Day. After the turkey is gone and the dishes are done, it’ll be the perfect time to start flossing.
Enjoy the holiday season, and take advantage of everything it has to offer! Just don’t forget that your teeth will require a little extra care during the next few months to make sure they stay healthy and strong during this deliciously sweet season!